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unsplash-logoAndre Hunter

What is Teen Rebellion Now, Anyway?

Remember your teens, your youth, your school days where rebellion was your number one priority, and anything extra was just a bonus? Okay maybe not some kind of revolutionary rebellion, but things like dressing how you like and sitting on the park sipping White Lightning in the dark on Friday nights is something that many mid-2000s teens might remember fondly.

Every generation claims that the one they succeeded messed everything up and those they came before are entitled, spoiled, and work-shy. The Greatest Generation did it, Boomers are currently doing it, and there are a host of Generation X-ers and proto-Millennials who are already lambasting the youth for wasting their time.

But while it can be all too easy to complain and moan about the little brats running around, there isn’t really much reason to. The media might portray them as puritan bores, who don’t party, don’t have casual sex, and spend much of their time online, but what should they be doing, instead?

For many who grew up during the emergence of the internet and social media, we might understand why a save icon looks the way it is, we might know why people say hang up. But just because we were there during its inception doesn’t mean we get it.

It seems that the generation before Snapchat and the like recognize why people use it but don’t use it to the same effect as the next generation, the current youth of today. They understood that they would struggle to get heard in this world, and so instead of accepting their place, they shouted from rooftops, created viral videos, and took advantage of what social media can do for them instead of using it as a tool to keep in touch and plan parties.

This generation is drinking less, too. While there are still alcohol-related crimes, this seems much more familiar with Gen X and above. This is similar to drug use, or at least, the drug use that was once a staple of most Millennials post-school ritual. Even in an age where marijuana is more accessible than ever in some parts of the world and is even being recognized for its health benefits as opposed to previous generations Reefer Madness attitude.

Every generation of kids has wanted to change the world, but it seems we have been too comfortable in our lives and ivory towers to actually put change in motion. Now though, the kids are focused on making their lives better in preparation for the future.

Protests outside the White House following the Parkland shooting, campaigning for better mental health resources in an age where nearly half of the kids are riddled with stress and anxiety. Why though? Is it because they are scared of the future that has been crafted by the Boomers? It very well could be.

Perhaps, they are merely rebelling in the same way that every generation before them has. They are doing what their parents did not, and even if it might not look like a revolution from the outside looking in, something is happening with the youth of today. Unlike before, they are working together. They are not the slacktivists of pre-Millennium; they are getting up, getting out, and trying to make a change.